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Samsung Galaxy Note 10: Are two Notes better than one?

It’s finally that time of the year again. Samsung has a new Galaxy Note and it’s called the Galaxy Note 10. The big difference, however, is that this year there are two Galaxy Note 10 smartphones: The Galaxy Note 10 and Galaxy Note 10+. Here’s what you need to know.

Two Notes, two roles

While the Galaxy Note smartphones have traditionally been solo devices, this year, Samsung’s mixing things up a little with two handsets. The biggest difference between them is their size. On the Galaxy Note 10, you’ve got a 6.3″ Full HD+ Dynamic AMOLED Infinity-O display up front. Meanwhile, the larger Galaxy Note 10+ features a massive 6.8″ Quad HD+ Dynamic AMOLED Infinity-O panel instead, making this the largest screen ever fitted to a Galaxy Note handset. The new Infinity-O design also means that the Galaxy Note 10+ as an incredible 94% screen-to-body ratio.

Besides the resolution, both displays are largely similar, with dual curved edges and support for HDR10+ alongside something called Dynamic Tone Mapping. They’re both gorgeous, top-of-the-line displays, basically, but we’re a little on the fence about how the centre-aligned Infinity-O camera cutout looks.

Inside, the Galaxy Note 10 also features a whole bunch of updated specs including a new 7nm Exynos 9825 processor, and up to 12GB of RAM plus 512GB of internal storage on the Galaxy Note 10+. Unfortunately, the smaller Galaxy Note 10 doesn’t come with support for microSD card expansion, but the larger Note 10+ does. Tragically, however, both handsets don’t feature 3.5mm headphone jacks anymore.

The good news is that on the large Note 10+, you get a massive 4,300 mAh battery that also supports 45W fast-charging. The smaller Note 10 only comes with a 3,500 mAh battery, but since it has a lower resolution display, it’ll likely be more frugal with power consumption too.

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More S Pen features

While the Galaxy Note 9 introduced Bluetooth features to its S Pen that let you control presentation slides and take photos with the camera, the Note 10 kicks things up a notch. Note taking has been improved, with the ability to edit your scribbles and reformat them after you’ve written stuff down. You’re able to change the size of the text and colour too.

What’s more, the new Note 10 and S Pen can also digitise your handwriting to instantly convert them into digital text that you can export into a PDF or Microsoft Word document.

Additionally, the new S Pen comes with something called Air Actions that’ll allow you to control certain aspects of the device with gestures using your S Pen. For example, in the camera app, you can gesture upwards to switch to the selfie camera, and also turn your S Pen in a clockwise or counterclockwise fashion to zoom in and out. This can be fully customised, and Samsung will even open up the Air Actions SDK so developers can integrate it into their apps.

Next, Samsung’s S Pen can also do AR Doodles. What this means is that while you’re recording a video with the smartphone, you can actually doodle within the frame, and your doodles will actually track your subjects.

Improved DeX

To amp up their productivity push, Samsung’s Note 10 comes with an updated DeX system. Now, DeX’s capabilities have been extended to make it easier for users to use it with their PC or Mac machines. With a compatible USB connection, users can drag and drop files between devices and use mobile apps with a mouse and keyboard.

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Besides that, Note 10 also integrates Link to Windows direction into the Quick Panel. With this, users on a Windows 10 PC will be able to see notifications, send and receive messages and review recent photos right on their desktop.

Better cameras

Samsung’s new Note 10 comes with a triple camera setup that’s similar to that on the S10 handsets. You get a 12MP f/1.5-2.4 variable aperture wide camera with optical image stabilisation (OIS), a 12MP f/2.1 telephoto camera with OIS, and a 16MP f/2.2 ultra-wide camera. On the Note 10+, you get a fourth VGA DepthView camera that’s used for 3D scanning and depth effects.

With a bigger focus on video now, the Note 10 is able to record video with Life Focus to add depth of field effects to your video. What’s more, there’s a Zoom-in mic that amplifies the audio in your video frame while pushing background noise aside. There’s also a new and improved Super Steady software stabilisation that’s designed to take shakes and bumps out of your video.

The company’s even updated the video editor app to work with the S Pen so you can make more precise adjustments.

Up front, in the Galaxy Note 10 features a 10MP f/2.2 aperture selfie shooter with autofocus. Night Mode also works on the front camera now so you should get better low-light performance selfies.

Samsung’s Galaxy Note 10 and 10+ will also come in new colours including the new Aura Glow hero colour. Although Samsung Malaysia has not revealed any official details for the Note 10 in Malaysia, local telco Celcom has already revealed their device plans alongside their official prices. The smartphone will be available for pre-orders from Celcom starting the 8th of August 2019 and will go until the 18th of August 2019. The telco says that the device will be available for collection on the 22nd of August 2019.

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The Galaxy Note 10 will be available in Malaysia with 256GB of storage and will be priced at RM3,699. Besides that, the Note 10+ will come in two storage variants. The 256GB Note 10+ will be priced at RM4,199 while the 512GB Note 10+ will be priced at RM4,799. If you want the latest updates for the Note 10, you can head to Samsung Malaysia’s website.